Social and environmental awareness are the underlying educational messages in RS’ latest design competition and online teaching for young engineers
LONDON, UK, 15 May 2020 – RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global multi-channel provider of industrial and electronic products and solutions, has expanded its series of STEM-related activities to help primary and secondary schoolchildren across the UK meet the challenge of studying from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The STEM Extraordinary Engineering Challenge tasks youngsters with designing an engineering solution to address a current global challenge, such as poverty and hunger, pollution or climate change. They could also look at how engineering can promote good health and well-being, or even focus on creating sustainable cities and communities for future generations.
There are two categories for ages 7-11 and 12-16, and students are invited to submit their solutions as either hand-drawn or computer-generated drawings or, where possible, go even further by creating 3D models or videos of their designs. Submissions should be uploaded to the DesignSpark website at https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/extraordinary-engineering-challenge no later than Tuesday 30 June, when the competition closes. The winning designs will be selected by a panel of expert engineers and announced on Friday 10 July.
The winners of each category will receive a cool tech bundle worth over £700, which includes a Piper STEM Computer Kit for the 7-11 category or a pi-top computer kit for the 12-16 category, a Sphero Bolt Robot, a MekaMon Berserker robot, and a Raspberry Pi starter kit.
New free lesson plans for STEM subjects
RS has also released the latest in its Imagine-X series of free curriculum-aligned lesson plans for 7-14-year olds, which links STEM skills to real people who have used those skills to make the world a better place. Taking inspiration from examples such as Drusillas Park Zoo and their maintenance engineer, and the zookeepers at West Midlands Safari Park, these lessons combine animal care together with design and engineering, to give pupils an insight into the world of smart conservation. They have been created to help children understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists.
Each STEM plan, one for primary and one for secondary children, contains a set of structured activities and teaching instructions, along with a resource pack. These lessons are primarily aimed at assisting teachers in the classroom but are equally valuable to parents with some level of technical skills who are home-educating their children while schools remain closed during the COVID-19 lockdown. The smart conservation STEM plans are now available to download from https://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=stem/smartconservation.
James Howarth, Head of Education at RS, said: “STEM skills are at the heart of enabling a healthier and socially responsible world. Today, more than ever, it is so important that children have the opportunity to learn and interact with technology in a way that will inspire them to become our future engineers and scientists, and take us forward into a cleaner, more sustainable future.”